|This is what I looked like when I was 10 years old in 1975 when I started running.|
In honor of my 40th year of running, I'm going to do some dork-ass posts related to my anniversary. This one will be called: How it all started.
For those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for years, are aware that my mom died when I was 10 and we moved from Arizona to a suburb on the South side of Chicago, and my abusive aunt and uncle became my legal guardians. Basically, I was in hell and didn't know what to do to make things better.
I had never been exposed to sports. My parents were Beatnik artists types who weren't into structure and I went to one of those "Free to be You and Me" schools that didn't believe in competition. People in Chicago were INSANE about sports and I had no idea how to play any of the sports. They all revolved around teams and playing well with others and there was all of that attention that had to be paid. It wasn't my thing. When track season came along, we ran. Just ran. I didn't have to pay attention to anything or anyone, but what my body was doing. FINALLY! Something I could do, and liked and was actually good at. Running is one of the best things that have happened to me in my life. I am so lucky to have found it at such a young age.
I also did the high jump, which we didn't have big mats, so we did a scissors kick over it, into a pit of sand. The first time I got my picture taken in the local newspaper for a track meet, I was giving a HUGE beav shot, legs all spread apart with my scissor kick over the bar and my hair was frizzy and standing straight up. The caption read: "Not a picture of grace and coordination, but Churlita gets the job done." I'd say that's been pretty applicable my entire life.